Kazuma, a yakuza, is shot and saved by the heir of a tea ceremony family, Shibata Yukihiro. Yukihiro,the illegitimate son, never allowed himself to ask for anything. Kazuma is the only one that Yukihiro wants to protect even though the burden that Kazuma carries is too dangerous. What should they do?
Our main story centers around Yakuza gangster Kazuma, who finds himself in a jam after killing a man, under circumstances I will not mention. Injured, he collapses in the snow and is found by Yukihiro, master of his own household. The young man decides to take him in and shelter him while he recovers from his wounds, and the rest is history. Sounds pretty interesting, right? Don't be fooled. It's nothing special. Not bad, but not great either.
Now that being said, the plot, while simple and predictable, was nevertheless engaging enough to keep my interest. I was however,
quite disappointed. Honestly, when I picked this book up at my local book store, I expected more out of it. I only purchase yaoi that seems promising, since they cost so much anyhow. As I said, it wasn't bad, but neither was it great. It stays inside of the norm, and as such, is somewhat forgettable under the circumstances. It's nice if you're just going to look it up online for a quick read, but I wouldn't recommend buying it unless you're okay with average yaoi manga, and you have an overabundance of money.
The art is so-so, the dialog seems a bit confused sometimes, and conversations (especially the heartfelt ones) don't always make a whole lot of sense. The characters, while not as stiff as they could be, are still pretty one-dimensional, and failed to deliver on the emotional aspects the author was reaching for. I didn't feel sorry for either of them, except perhaps for Kazuma, albeit for brief, one/two second periods. I didn't feel absorbed into their plight, and I didn't shed a single tear at the parts that were supposed to be tragic, despite the fact that this is supposed to be dramatic and angst-filled. That, my friends, is a problem.
What makes this manga all the more disappointing is the fact that it had the potential to be so much more than it is. Unfortunately, it feels as if it is lacking something important; that edge that would push it from decent, to masterpiece. There isn't enough depth. The characters aren't interesting enough, the story, not even close to the level of darkness it needs to be at for this plot to work properly.
There are also two side stories near the back of the book, about two other pairs of guys. Those, however, are borderline shallow, and you'd probably be better off skipping them altogether. The first one can be described in one word: creepy. About two students who secretly watch each other and follow each other around every day.
Yeah, I'm serious.
I was baffled by how utterly stupid they were. The second one is so poorly thought out and idiotic, I won't even get into the specifics. Let's just say there were many moments where I literally had to stop, shake my head, and say, "Wow, that's really stupid. What the hell kind of logic is that?"
Anyway, I've said all I needed to say. The main story I liked well enough, so I'm giving this a six. The side stories, however, were simply so appalling, they actually make the final score lower. In short, if you're not one for a whole lot of depth, and if you're not a picky, masterpiece seeker like I am, go ahead and give this a read.